Volume 1 (Issue 2) 2020

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The Second Wave of COVID-19 – Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Dear Editor

As the long-predicted second wave of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic sends many countries back to varying levels of restrictions, with more than 50 million confirmed cases in 191 countries and about 1.3 million deaths reported globally as of November 13, 2020 (Johns Hopkins University, 2020). The United States of America (USA) has remained the worst-hit country, with the number of confirmed cases surpassing 10 million and more than 0.2 million deaths. Among European countries, Spain, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom (UK) predominate with more than one million confirmed cases. The resurgence has also been seen in other countries including Canada, Russia, and Iran. India, with nearly nine million confirmed cases, the second-highest tally worldwide, is the worst affected country in Asia. The pattern of rising infections extends to Pakistan too, with 2,304 new cases, the highest daily toll since July pushing the nationwide toll of confirmed cases to 352,296 and 7,092 deaths as of November 13, 2020 (NIH, 2020). While waiting for a pharmaceutical cure or vaccine, the question remained: how could we avoid further lockdowns, thus socioeconomic disruptions, and still few people contracting the disease? The answer is by protective behaviors, the most defining factor to beat the pandemic. Behavioral changes such as hand hygiene, physical distancing and mask-wearing could help to contain and mitigate the pandemic. Violations of COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) could result in the progression of the cluster into a wave but when strictly complied; it has the power to break the transmission chain, thus lowering the effective reproductive number (R). Despite these being effective interventions and there has been an international consensus regarding their use, why are the governments around the world struggling to implement them? The answer is infodemic and pandemic fatigue. Lack of common evidence-based and audience-tailored messages, untrusted messengers, and missed physical context influence misperceptions. Some of these include; COVID-19 is no more dangerous than flu, masks affecting oxygen saturation levels, achieving herd immunity by letting the virus spread and COVID-19 only affects the older people. The WHO, scientists and public health experts across the globe have repeatedly busted these myths with substantial evidence but more active public health campaigns are still needed to send a clear and unified message to protect not only ourselves but others too. Moreover, it is critical to reviving efforts to tackle pandemic fatigue and maintain public vigilance through understanding, engaging and helping people, while acknowledging and addressing the challenges faced before the time is up (WHO, 2020).

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  • Shazma Bashir
    • Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan
    • Corresponding Author Email: [email protected]

ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES

Dietary Spices: The Functional Foods against Amyloidosis

ABSTRACT

Objective:

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a prevailing neuro-degenerative ailment. It is one of the primary cause of dementia, which has been attributed to the buildup of amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits; the peptides are toxic towards neurons. Prevalence data reveal that the nations of the South East Asian countries are least affected by AD. Additionally, they are also famous for spicy food. Keeping this is view; the study aims to explore potential co-relation between kitchen spices and amyloidosis.

Methods:

The kitchen spices used most commonly are included in the study i.e. Bay leaves, Black pepper, Brown Cardamom, Cloves, Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Cinnamon, Fennel seeds, Fenugreek seeds, Flax seeds, Mace, Nutmeg, Red pepper and Star anise. After identification, their ethanolic extracts were prepared. After evaluation of their toxicity on primary neuronal cells, the extracts were assessed for their ability to inhibit aggregation (turbidity assay, congo red assay and thioflavin T assay.) using generic model of thermally induced BSA (Bovine Serum Albumin) aggregation.

Results:

Our data showed that spices caused toxicity to cultured neurons, as evident from alterations in neuronal morphology (loss of dendritic tree), at 25 μg/mL. Furthermore, at the tested dose of 10μg/mL, all of the extracts caused the inhibition of protein aggregation.

Conclusion:

Our study exhibits that the kitchen spices have the potential to prevent protein aggregation. The extract of bay leaves (Laurus Nobilis) appeared to be most effective and potentially underlie the lower prevalence of AD in countries of South East Asia.

Key words: Alzheimer’s disease; protein aggregation; BSA; dietary spices

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  • Nazish Mustafa
    • Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research, International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
  • Sana Khan
  • Laila Anwar
  • Huma Aslam Bhatti
  • Syed Abid Ali
    • H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
  • Ghulam Abbas
    • Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan

Corresponding Author Email:
[email protected]

Real time stability study of certain Tablet formulations conferring climates of Pakistan

ABSTRACT

Objective:

Health is always a necessary requirement of life, to ensure health prospective it’s necessary to take medicament when needed and they should be prescribed accordingly as safe and stable. In this matter, pharmaceutical manufacturers always observe and work on stability i.e. physical, chemical or microbial, of their products. Therefore, stability of the drug is always a tool to describe its shelf life and it is always a prime apprehension of manufacturer. In this regard the desired formulation is achieved with appropriate packaging and container for the consumer.

Methods:

On applying stability condition for long term stability study (24 months) by ICH by subjecting tablet samples for 30̊C and RH 65%. These samples included Amlodipine Besylate 10mg (AB), Ciprofloxacin HCl 250mg (CP) and Metformin HCl 500mg (MT). Tablets were collected from local market. These samples were subjected for physical tests (Hardness, Friability), analysis (Dissolution and percentage purity) and finally degradation by applying apparent first order rate constant Kobs.

Result:

It was found from the result that under the guidelines for long term stability study, the tablets had shelf life less than the reported three years.

Conclusion:

We concluded after getting the results that the climatic conditions and their variation may alter the stability of the pharmaceuticals.

KEYWORDS: Tablet; MT; CP; AB; Stability; Degradation; ICH guidlines

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  • Qurratul-ain Leghari
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University Clifton Karachi, Pakistan
  • Sohail Hassan
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Karachi, Pakistan
  • Iqbal Ahmed
    • Baqai Medical University, Super Highway, Gadap Road Karachi, Pakistan

Corresponding Author Email:
[email protected]

Physician’s perception and attitude towards the Role of Pharmacists within the Healthcare setups in Karachi

ABSTRACT

Objective:

To evaluate the perception of the physicians in Karachi, concerning the responsibility of the pharmacists within the hospital settings as pharmaceutical care provider.

Methods:

Data was collected over six months using a structured and validated questionnaire, which was distributed to the physicians in both private and government hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan. The data was calculated and evaluated using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPPSS version 21).

Results:

The infelicitous result obtained in Table 2 that the interaction of physician and pharmacist rarely takes place is indicative of an unhealthy norm within our healthcare system. The Pharmacist’s relations and communication with the physicians sprint side by side in daily practice ensures transaction of knowledge and suppression of the undesirable effects related to the drugs was observed in Table 3. It was observed that the expectations from the pharmacist were very high as illustrated in Table 4. In Table 5 and 6 it was observed that the vast majority of physicians expected pharmacists to identify and resolve problems related to drug therapy however the consultants did not anticipate this as a pharmacist’s responsibility.

Conclusion:

The physicians did not seem inclined towards the inclusion of pharmacists in the process of pharmaceutical care. There is a dire need to establish the role of pharmacists within the health care system.

Key words: Physicians; Pharmacists; Pharmaceutical care process

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  • Arif Sabah
  • Sidra Tanwir
  • Sarah Haroon
  • Najeeb Khatiyan
    • Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan

Corresponding Author Email:
[email protected]

Assessment of Impostor Syndrome among the Healthcare students of Karachi, Pakistan

ABSTRACT

Objective:

The purpose of this study is to ascertain the prevalence of impostor syndrome among the health care students of Karachi, Pakistan.

Methods:

Data was collected using an online-based questionnaire survey. This questionnaire was distributed to over 200 students on social media out of which we received 180 responses, with a female predominance of 68.89 percent.

Results:

180 participants were involved in the study among which 124 were females and 56 were males. It was found that 17.22% MBBS, 1.11% BDS, 11.11% Pharm.D and 7.22% students from other medical specialties were aware of IS. The symptoms of burnout such as academic fatigue, academic apathy and academic inefficiency were found in 33.9% of students.

Conclusion:

Impostor syndrome is present in significant number among the healthcare students of Karachi, Pakistan. The syndrome is diagnosed chiefly in younger age group and more abundantly among females. In order to overcome this, workshops and other awareness campaigns should be conducted in order to provide sufficient knowledge to the students so that they may learn to cope with these problems.

Keywords:

Imposter syndrome; stress; psychological; depression; fatigue; apathy

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  • Rabia Zafar
  • Hammad Ahmed
  • Insha Amjad
  • Tahira Fatima
    • Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi 75600, Pakistan

Corresponding Author Email:
[email protected]

REVIEW ARTICLE

A simple virus modified into life threatening COVID-19: A Review

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is an on-going pandemic which has caused many deaths throughout the globe. This review sheds light on the history, origin, nature of this virus, how it came into being and also discusses important aspects regarding the structure, size and mechanism of action of the virus, side by side this review enlightens the symptoms and occurrence of this virus and use of different treatments recommended by WHO and recently FDA recommended treatment for COVID-19.

KEYWORDS: Covid-19; virus; symptoms; treatment; WHO; FDA

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  • Gul-e-Sahra
    • Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Qurratul-ain Leghari
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan

Corresponding Author Email:
Email: [email protected]